By Jennifer Vazquez
Brave Women, a support group for survivors of cancer, especially breast cancer and their families, gathered Saturday morning, Sept. 29, for their ribbon initiative.
Volunteers spent this past weekend tying pink ribbons on the trees that line Kearny Avenue. The group met in front of Town Hall. Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos and Councilwomen Carol Jean Doyle, Eileen Eckel and Susan McCurrie were there to show their support and dedication to the message behind this event, which is in its ninth year.
“The continual education and awareness of this disease are the main factors behind this event,” Santos said. “These women are incredibly brave…Their support group has been a remarkable addition to our community. The fact that they are a multilingual group provides for many with a support network… What they stand for and their message is really important. Women must remember to be vigilant.”
McCurrie shared in the same sentiments as Santos. “It promotes awareness,” she said. “Many women and their families are affected by breast cancer. (Brave Women’s) commitment to the cause is incredible.”
This event and objective behind it hits home for Doyle.
“My sister-in-law and sister are both breast cancer survivors,” she said. “To support an event like this is extremely important. We need to draw awareness to our bodies.”
The ribbon initiative was the brainchild of Emma Quintana, founder of Brave Women and breast cancer survivor. After getting involved, as a volunteer, for the Susan G. Komen Foundation she decided to bring some of the organization’s ideas and message to her own town. She decided the best way was to provide a visual that captivated the attention of passersby and therefore decided to bring the ribbon campaign to Kearny.
“I remember visiting (Town Hall) to get permission to start the (ribbon) campaign,” she explained. “(Mayor) Santos was great. He said yes right away!”
The volunteers worked throughout the weekend, in alternating groups, in order to post the ribbons all throughout Kearny and neighboring towns, all before Oct. 1 — the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.